08 March, 2012 – This Week in Science


Dark Matter Conundrums, Peeking At Antimatter, Gorilla Genes, Leopard Poop Tales, Bad Bird Behavior, Eradicating HIV, Fossil Worms, Computer Lie Detectors, Spider Strings, And Much More…

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This week in science…
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Dark matter conundrums
San Francisco State researchers have observed galaxies moving through one-another. Dark matter concentrates in the center of these galaxies, but no one is clear as to how it got there…

Taking a look at antimatter
The ALPHA collaboration at CERN has successfully trapped antimatter, which means they can now experiment with it. Does antihydrogen act the same as hydrogen?

Gorilla Genes:
The last genus of great apes has finally been decoded. While we share a higher percentage of DNA with chimpanzees, some of our genes are more similar to gorillas than chimps.

When you can’t catch an animal, just look at its poop!
Through DNA coding of Snow Leopard feces, we can clearly identify what they are eating. This could help with future conservation efforts.

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Are you reading along with the TWIS Bookclub? This month, check out ‘A Planet of Viruses’ by Carl Zimmer

Bad bird behavior
Coracias garrulous, a.k.a. the Eurasian roller, has a very unusual defense strategy. Babies will vomit on themselves to scare away predators. If the parents smelled vomit when they returned to the nest, they acted more cautious as they approached.

Eradicating HIV
Hidden HIV was successfully eradicated at University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill using a drug usually implemented to treat lymphoma. This could potentially remove HIV completely from a patient – a cure, at last?

Fossil worms
We came from worms! Scientists have found a worm fossil that is the first with a notochord and myomeres – the most primitive chordate. This worm gave way to all vertebrates, and therefore, humans.

Computerized Lie Detectors
Can computers tell if you’re lying? Through tracing eye movements, a new software can detect who is telling the truth with over 80% accuracy. Will society break down without liars?

Spider strings
A Japanese researcher twisted thousands of strands of golden orb weaver spider silk to make violin strings.

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